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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute (UC LMRI), is a multi-campus research unit of the University of California that was established in 1984, in response to the California Legislature's request that the University of California's Office of the President pursue "...knowledge applicable to educational policy and practice in the area of language minority students' academic achievement and knowledge," including their access to the University of California and other institutions of higher education.

Cover page of Tenth Grade Dropout Rates by Native Language, Race/Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status

Tenth Grade Dropout Rates by Native Language, Race/Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status

(2006)

One of the most important indicators of educational performance is the high school dropout rate. Reducing dropout rates and improving high school graduation rates are important goals for both educators and policymakers. Yet there is a great deal of controversy about how best to measure dropout and graduation rates. This issue of EL Facts provides estimates of dropout rates for language minority students, racial and ethnic groups, and socioeconomic groups.

Cover page of The Growth of California’s Linguistic, Racial, and Ethnic Populations, 1986 - 2013

The Growth of California’s Linguistic, Racial, and Ethnic Populations, 1986 - 2013

(2005)

California’s school-age population is becoming more linguistically, racially, and ethnically diverse. Between 1986-87 and 2003-04, the enrollment of linguistic minority students—students from households where a language other than English is regularly spoken— increased 120 percent in California’s public schools, or six times as fast as the 19 percent increase in enrollment of English-only students. The population of English learners—linguistic minorities who are not yet proficient in English—increased eight times as quickly. This growth was fueled by the 128 percent increase in Latino public school enrollment. During this same period, Asian enrollment increased 68 percent, Black enrollment increased 28 percent, and White enrollment declined by 6 percent.

Cover page of The Intersection of Language, Race/Ethnicity, Immigration Status, and Poverty

The Intersection of Language, Race/Ethnicity, Immigration Status, and Poverty

(2005)

Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners are often interested in a number of demographic characteristics of students, such as race and ethnicity, language background, immigration status, and poverty. For example, the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation requires schools and districts to report student test scores separately for major racial and ethnic groups, English learners, disabled students, and poor students. Yet while demographic populations are often viewed as distinct, in fact, these populations frequently intersect.

Cover page of California’s Growing Bilingual Population

California’s Growing Bilingual Population

(2003)

Data from the last two U.S. decennial censuses provide an estimate of the bilingual population. In the 1990 and 2000 censuses, respondents (or parents of children) were asked whether they speak a language other than English at home and, if they do, how well they speak English. Although the data do not reveal how well respondents read and write English, which may be more important for performance in school or at work, they do provide valuable information on the language background of the U.S. and California populations.

Cover page of Primary Language Instruction In California Continues To Decline

Primary Language Instruction In California Continues To Decline

(2003)

Two main instructional approaches have been used to educate English learners in California—English language development (ELD) together with academic instruction in the primary language (bilingual education), and ELD with or without Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE). Since the passage of Proposition 227 in June 1998, native language instruction in California’s classrooms has continued to decline.

Cover page of One Quarter of California’s Teachers for English Learners Not Fully Certified

One Quarter of California’s Teachers for English Learners Not Fully Certified

(2003)

Although the passage of Proposition 227 reduced the demand for bilingual teachers, an acute shortage of teachers qualified to deliver needed instructional services to English learners remains. In 1998, prior to the passage of 227, 43 percent of the teachers providing instructional services to English learners were not fully certified to provide those services—33 percent of teachers were in training to provide English language development (ELD) or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) and 10 percent were in training to provide primary language instruction. By 2001-02, 25 percent of teachers providing instructional services to English learners were not fully certified. Statewide, almost 14 percent of all teachers do not hold a full credential. So English learners are almost twice as likely as students generally to be taught by a teacher who is not fully certified. That figure is even higher if you include another 14 percent of teachers who have other than a California Teacher Commission (CTC) authorization, which can be obtained with less rigorous training through a SB1969 certificate or a district designation.

Cover page of Language Minority Students Account for Most of California’s Enrollment Growth in the Last Decade

Language Minority Students Account for Most of California’s Enrollment Growth in the Last Decade

(2003)

Enrollment of language minority students continues to outpace overall enrollment growth. In the ten-year period from 1991-92 to 2001-02, California’s public schools added more than one million students, an increase of 20 percent. In the same period, the number of English learners (ELs) increased by 44 percent and the number of Fluent English Proficient (FEP) students increased by 41 percent. Altogether, language minority students represented more than 70 percent of the increase in student enrollment over this period.